Once a month Bob down at Bob’s Laundry and Clean employed Marcia Gotoo to clean out the machines.
Marcia loved her job, it wasn’t a job that required a lot of brains to do but Marcia loved the notion of Bob employing her, and she wanted to do a good job.
Every machine had to be scrubbed out and all the accumulated guck removed. Sometimes the stench was over powering, and she wondered what had been in the machine to leave it so rotten.
One day in one of the guck collecting places she found a diamond ring. She took it to Bob who looked in his notes and found no request or notice of a lost ring and so he said good luck to Marcia and let her have it. It was her first piece of luck in life, and she took the ring the next day to a jeweller and had it valued.
As there were a lot of machines to clean out Marcia developed a way of making the job interesting for her. As the cleaning took place between midnight and dawn, the place was deserted, and so she devised a scheme whereby there was a play list for each machine.
This helped her through the night, and she could sing as loud as she liked, no matter how out of tune she might have been.
Some songs had a memory attached. There was one that took her back to her marriage. She had been married to a man who promised her the earth and who gave her plenty of dirt. He was a soulless character, and eventually, she moved out in the middle of the night after drugging him giving her the opportunity to flee.
There had been no other men since then. She’d been bitten once, and it wasn’t going to happen again despite the best efforts of a series of men who attempted to woo her with promises she knew were empty.
Cleaning the machines reminded her of the purpose of life. Everything was there for a reason and for a time everything worked perfectly, but there would come a point where a clean out would be required and a resolution to move on. Like her job as one play list ended, so it was time to move on to the same job on another machine, the only difference was she was being paid for this cleanup, not belted for not doing it to someone else’s expectations.
Bob was a good boss he’d come in as she was finishing the last machine and marvel at her job, pay her what she was owed and say he’d see her again the next month. Marcia was grateful; this job even though tiring to the extreme did allow her to live a little as her normal job, cleaning toilets at the train station was a soul-destroying job.
Today she went home a happy girl. She would fix herself some breakfast, have a bath and go to bed. If she was lucky when she awoke her daughter would call as she did each week to see how her mum was getting on.
The last thing Marcia ever did after her night cleaning the machines was to put any washing on.